An epistemological re-visioning of hybridity: Water/lands

    Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


    Land has been understood and explained by excluding water. The common idea of land is best expressed in the Oxford Dictionary’s definition: ‘land’ is something that exists in opposition to water; that is, ‘the part of the earth’s surface that is not covered by water’, 2 meaning that land excludes swamps, estuaries, tidal areas, lakes, ponds and streams. Historically, geography has conventionally been the leading discipline propagating this epistemic divide, but other disciplines have equally contributed to deepening the chasm. Sauer in 1925 described land as ‘a unit of geography’ (Sauer [1925] 1963, p. 321). Equivalent terms, ‘area’ and ‘region’, gave rise to the place facts of geography; thus, landscape became a recognizable entity with definite limits leaving the waters beyond them. Even before Sauer, the instructions of classical geomorphologists such as Davis (1900) on the ‘content of geography underlined the complete separation of land from water. Hartshorne’s (1939, p. 150) ideas of landscape (as the ‘appearance of a land as we perceive it’) privileged land. 3 Geographical metaphors are generally associated with land: territory, field, place, horizon, soil. Like the traditional categories offered by political geographers – frontiers, boundaries and borders, rim lands, and peripheries. Geographical conceptualisations of hybridity are embodied in consideration of various hybrid ‘landscapes’. Land and water have definitely and absolutely been established as two completely separate epistemic categories.
    Original languageEnglish
    Title of host publicationWater, Knowledge and the Environment in Asia: Epistemologies, Practices and Locales
    Editors Ravi Baghel, Lea Stepan & Joseph K W Hill
    Place of PublicationLongon & New York
    PublisherRoutledge Taylor and Francis Group
    ISBN (Print)978-1-138-68555-0
    Publication statusPublished - 2017


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